DEEP: Bear Euthanized In Response to Public Safety Threat
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released the following statement on June 14:
On June 13, 2022, The DEEP Environmental Conservation Police responded to a report of a bear attempting to break into an occupied residence on North Mountain Road in Canton. EnCon officers found that a bear had attempted to break into a home through the front door. The homeowner, who was home at the time, reported trying to scare the bear away by ringing a bell. Although the homeowner’s dog was also barking, the bear was not deterred and tried to break in through a window. The bear did eventually retreat and was gone when officers arrived on scene.
Three hours later EnCon officers received a second call, at East Hill Road, approximately 400 yards distance from the first call. Officers responded to a residence where property owners had returned home to find the bear had entered the home by breaking through a window and ransacking the kitchen.
While officers were inspecting the premises, they located a bear at the edge of the homeowner’s property, approximately 30 yards from the house, with food items it had taken from the home. The bear showed no signs of fear or wariness of people–a response not typical of a wild bear.
Based on DEEP response guidelines for a bear that has entered homes or attempted to enter occupied homes, and shows no signs of fear or aversion to humans, the decision was made to euthanize the bear for the safety of the public.
After the bear was euthanized, officers on scene located four six-month-old cubs that were in a nearby tree. Due to the risks of further habituation, DEEP made the decision to attempt to safely capture the cubs for evaluation and relocation. All four were captured, but unfortunately one of the cubs did not revive after being tranquilized and died. The surviving three cubs were released to a remote wooded area with excellent bear habitat where they can forage for natural food sources free from the risks of human interaction or habituation.
DEEP received numerous reports over the last couple of weeks from the area regarding a bear with four cubs repeatedly breaking into homes, sometimes with occupants inside, including minors. DEEP believes the bear from these reports is the same bear that was euthanized. The bear had been aversively conditioned multiple times in the past week by DEEP EnCon Police and continued to break into homes despite these efforts. DEEP set three traps for this bear in an attempt to capture it; but the bear did not enter any of the traps and continued to exhibit increasingly dangerous behavior.
The habituation of bears is extremely dangerous for the public, as well as for bears. Bears should never be fed, intentionally or otherwise. Birdfeeders and birdseed should be removed from late March through November. Barbecue grills should be kept clean and stored in a garage or shed. Garbage should be secured in airtight containers, kept in a garage or enclosed storage area, and put outside the morning of collection. Pet food should not be left outdoors, and pets should be fed inside. For more information on how to minimize the likelihood of conflicts with bears, visit: The Basics of Living with Black Bears (ct.gov)